The demographics of the Broadway Audience 2011-12

Hot, hot, hot off the Broadway League presses . . . here comes the sexy stats about you . . . yes you . . . the people that see Broadway shows.

Every year, members of the Broadway league get a phat book all about the folks that buy tickets through the previous season.  And the smart Producers use this book to help understand how to navigate the murky marketing waters of the Great White Way.

And every year, I give you, members of the Producer’s Perspective, the Executive Summary of the report so that you can see how the Broadway audience is trending (read last year’s Executive Summary here).

Here’s what the peeps who purchased Broadway tickets last season looked like:

  •  In the 2011-2012 season, tourists purchased approximately 63.4% of all Broadway tickets, up from 61.7% in the 2010-2011 season.
  • The average Broadway-going tourist stayed 4.4 days in New York City.
  • 67% of the the audiences were female.
  • The average age of the Broadway theatergoer was 43.5 years.
  • 78% of all tickets were purchased by Caucasian theatergoers.
  • Broadway theatergoers were quite affluent compared to the general United States population, reporting an average annual household income of $193.800 (Note from Ken:  This is down over $50k (!) from last year – “It’s the economy, stupid!”)
  • Broadway theatergoers were a very well-educated group.  Of theatergoers over 25 years old, 75% had completed college and 38% had earned a graduate degree.
  • The use of the Internet to purchase tickets has been steadily increasing.  In this season, 47% of respondents said they bought their tickets online.
  • 34% of respondents reported having purchased their tickets more than one month prior to the show.
  • The average Broadway theatergoer reported attending 4 shows in the previous 12 months.  The group of devoted fans who attended 15 or more performances comprised only 5% of the audience but accounted for 29% of all tickets (3.6 million admissions).
  • Playgoers tended to be more frequent theatergoers than musical attendees.  The typical straight play attendee saw eight shows in the past year, the musical attendee, five.
  • Word-of-mouth was by far the most influential factor in show selection.
  • The most popular sources for theatre information were word-of-mouth,, and The New York Times.
  • 39% of attendees walked to the theatre. 19% took the subway, and 16% drove in a car.
  • 30% of Broadway theatergoers reported having watched the Tony Awards on television.

There she blows.

Another year down, another year of data, that doesn’t deviate that much from the norm.  Big industries are like steamships . . . it’s hard to get them to move off their course in a year.  But you and I aren’t in this biz for just a year, are we?  So if we want some stats to turn, let’s start moving that wheel, slowly but surely.  Slowly but surely.


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–  Win two tickets to see David Mamet’s The Anarchist on Broadway!  Click here.

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Ken created one of the first Broadway podcasts, recording over 250 episodes over 7 years. It features interviews with A-listers in the theater about how they “made it”, including 2 Pulitzer Prize Winners, 7 Academy Award Winners and 76 Tony Award winners. Notable guests include Pasek & Paul, Kenny Leon, Lynn Ahrens and more.